The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Margaret Chandler/Moonlight
The moon hath risen o'er the silent height
Of the blue vaulted heaven—and each star
Is faintly glimmering in its silver light,
That dimly shows the mountain-tops afar,
And lights the fleecy clouds that, floating there,
By turns obscure its brightness—while around,
The spell of silence hangs o'er earth and air;
And not a rude intruding voice, or sound,
Falls on the ear, or mars the solitude profound.
Prompter of wild imagination's flight!
How soft the witchery that enrobes thy beam,
That sheds its magic o'er the gloom of night,
And wraps the soul within its brightest dream,
Till heaven and earth are mingled—and we seem,
With airy beings of the land of thought,
To hold high converse—till we almost deem
They are indeed with life and being fraught,
And not in fancy's wild unreal visions wrought.
Now rise the treasured thoughts of other days,
And all the scenes that by-past years have known;
And memory sheds her reminiscent rays
Around the hopes and pleasures that have flown,
And gives again to being every tone,
That once like music on our pulses thrill'd;
When childhood's gaiety was all our own,
And even tears, like dew in flowers distill'd,
Gave brightness to the dreams that hope delights to build.
Star-spangled vault of glory! who could gaze
With coldness or with carelessness at thee?
Or view the earth illumined by thy rays,
Nor feel the spirit for a moment free
From all terrestrial feelings?—Can it be
That in yon spheres translated spirits dwell?
It may be fancy's whisper—but to me
It sounds scarce strangely—though we may not tell
Of what awaits beyond our shortly pealing knell